Other Risky Situations for Glaucoma Misdiagnosis and Malpractice

Here are more situations in which patients are at risk of vision loss and blindness because of failure to diagnose glaucoma.

  • Babies: Feeding problems and irritability can be a sign of congenital glaucoma. But it’s easy for both parents and pediatricians to dismiss the condition as a “phase” or as “colic” or infection. Here’s a key hint: if the baby is intolerant of light, that can mean glaucoma and an eye doctor needs to be seen right away.
  • Elderly people are particularly at risk if they fail to get regular eye checks. Also, failing vision may be dismissed as “normal aging” when it’s not. Patients with dementia who are experiencing glaucoma-related eye damage may show only increased confusion because they cannot communicate their symptoms. A simple pressure test with a device called a goniometer is needed.
  • One-sided glaucoma: Patients who get glaucoma in only one eye may not notice a loss of vision because the other eye compensates. That is why careful eye doctors check vision one eye at a time.
  • Drug use: Medications can interact with each other to cause high pressure in the eye. Steroid drugs are notorious for causing this.
  • Normal tension glaucoma: This is a strange condition that is almost a contradiction in terms. Some patients do not have “high” pressure by normal standards but will still get vision damage. This is a difficult diagnosis and the treatment often is difficult too.

Patient Safety Tip: Vision: Sudden Changes that Might Spell Emergency

Sudden changes in your vision may or may not be due to things that doctors can fix quickly. But it’s useful to know the important causes of visual changes where emergency action can preserve good vision. Read more...

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